Project Prius Truck Pickup Trius conversion.

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Gary Kiviniemi, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    If you wonder "What was he thinking?!!!!**" -
    Please ask or read my posts. I find insulting comments and snide online remarks last forever and are counter- productive to respectful sharing of our hobby. (And are likely posted by non-doers anyway - that "could do better than that damn guy".)

    Thank you.

    I am 70.
    Retired.
    Experienced.
    In "quarantine" Covid-19 April 2020.
    Plenty of other worthy things to do.
    But I saw Ruudh's posts on here on his Prius "Pruck" Gen 2 conversion. Admirably saved an otherwise low value vehicle and enjoyed the adventure.
    I'm doing that too.
    This Prius was my wife's, driven for 12 years. 135k miles. Needs a replacement traction battery.
    Been idle a year as we got her a new 2018 Prius.
    AND: I have for years wondered why Toyota had not offered a small Prius based "town truck".
    You know a 1/4 ton garbage hauler like Datsun, Toyota, Courier, Luv, used to be.
    I've pondered if I could inexpensively create a good usable 1/4 ton that looked less hacked up and was nearly "could be" stock looking or a light custom - one with minor "wow" and not much "why?" - so here goes.
    I was just recently inspired by retired engineer Ruudh's project that I saw on PRIUS CHAT so I jumped in.
    Start thinking... Sunday April 19th, 2020.
    Manchester TN.
    As of now Wed night,
    I have 3 days invested at this point.
    Plan A: install an Explorer Sport Trac bed into the back area of the Prius.
    Plan B: since build"A" is no-go
    Build a custom built bed.
    Plan C: oops. Sell parts.

    Monday: hauled my 1 of 3 Explorer beds out front. Started measuring.
    Took out the interior, moved Battery and wiring.
    4 hours in.
    Tuesday: spent 8 hours pondering and cutting.
    Wednesday: more cutting and fitting.
    Progress in pictures, bed and fenders fit mostly into place.
    Result: I think plan "A" may work.

    I plan on tying the rear roof section to the bed and lower frame of Prius for strength.
    Plan B or C will be to cut roof at front of bed.

    Of course side and back windows are next.

    Here's a couple pictures after 3 days 22-24 hours work.

    So you know: I'm going for fast, cheap, good.
    All three said to be non-inclusive.
     
    #1 Gary Kiviniemi, Apr 22, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  2. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    IMG_20200422_165321930.jpg IMG_20200422_165321930.jpg IMG_20200422_160745206.jpg

    Of course there is considerable bodywork to blend front of bed sides to Prius body.
    Fender wheel opening will match Prius.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    I have moved all wiring to not be under the bed.
    I also have moved Traction Battery forward. It is not under the bed.

    12V battery relocated to backseat area also.

    Yes, I am cognizant of battery cooling system needs.
     
    #3 Gary Kiviniemi, Apr 22, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  4. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    I'll request that everyone honor my copyright to photos.
    Finished project photos will be better to share. A partly finished project seems to result in insults.
    Thank you.
    GaryK
    Manchester TN.
     
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  5. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    It appears that Plan A is going to work out OK. Still much to do but great progress in 3 days.

    GaryK.
     
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  6. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    Though I may change roofline options to be more conventional (covering cab only) I am seeing if allowing the roofline to flow into the bed will both allow for increased structural integrity and look pleasing.
    Somewhat remarkable - at this point I have not disturbed the headliner or roof panel.
    Fitting the bed section would have been easier had I cut off the back roof section.
    But hey, this is an adventure and exercise in design influenced by situation on the ground.
    Fun.
    So far 3 days less than 24 hours effort.
    Cost as of today?
    * one $1000 value Prius.
    * also previously owned ($100) Sport Trac bed.
    * $20 of grinding discs and saw blades.
    * 3 Band-Aids.

    Please notice the "truck" will be a foot longer behind rear wheel - which I thinks looks more natural than "bobbed off" tail section.

    Also, this gives a real usable tailgate.
    No need to heave that garbage can up and over.
    And dog "Biscuit" can "loadup" without messing up the new Prius backseat.

    Have fun Be kind - lesson of Covid One Nine.
    GaryK.
    Manchester TN.
     
    #6 Gary Kiviniemi, Apr 23, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
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  7. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    Bed still to come down an inch plus.
    Sides will blend nicely I think. IMG_20200422_165341538.jpg
     
  8. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    After reading about the Pruck last night, I expected you to do something similar while keeping the old sides. I see you're going to integrate the Explorer body, though. I actually really like the resulting shape and look. I liked the look of the Pruck, but this looks like it might be even more usable.

    What are your plans for maintaining structural integrity, since I know that was a concern for the Pruck?

    You are making very quick progress, and I hope it continues going this well and you have it done by the end of quarantine.
     
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  9. GrGramps

    GrGramps Active Member

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    All it takes is skill, determination and time. Looks like you have what it needs, so stick with it and post pics.
     
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  10. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    True.
    But why do you want to take away all my fun?

    In all seriousness, I think the project looks great. While I simultaneously admit, it is something I could never do,
    But I enjoy seeing and following some of the amazing projects my fellow Prius Chatters embark on.
    Keep up the good work.
     
  11. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Active Member

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    Way to go Gary!!!! Nice work so far. Just keep the momentum going. It is easy to let naysayers (and never-doers) to get you down. Getting down will negate your momentum and positive attitude (IOW, keep doing what you are doing).
     
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  12. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    Hi Folks:
    @oldtechaa, @GrGramps, @The Electric Me, @ydpplqbd.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Plan A: is to add strength by tying the rearmost roof down through bed to Prius frame rails. There will also be a beam from roof to Floor at rocker eachside where the back window panel closes up the cab.

    I expect to form that roof sail beam contouring it to match shape front to rear.
    I'll cut away the inner lip for the hatch.

    The SportTrac rear bed side fenders are fibreglass so I will be using another set's rear sections on opposite sides. Meaning the "too long" front of fender will be cut out and the rear section from extra opposite side molded in.

    If it goes as planned, I'll not glass fender to Prius but will bond it thereby maintaining that distinctive curve and edge shown in picture.
    I like that detail.

    Best regards.
    GaryK
    Manchester TN
     
    #12 Gary Kiviniemi, Apr 23, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
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  13. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    surely you must know that bearing the derision of the unwashed masses is part of being a mad genius? we want pix! lots of em!
     
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  14. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    I am now in at 30 hours.
    I have been able to facilitate a very good fit of rear bed side to back doors. I am very pleased.
    I am in it now and confident of a decent outcome so today I ordered a replacement traction battery to be delivered Tuesday.

    pictures:
     

    Attached Files:

    #14 Gary Kiviniemi, Apr 23, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  15. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    What you were thinking is awesome!

    Here's a suggestion for beefing up the suspension. What good is a Prius truck that can't handle some weight.

    Heavy Springs And Lift Upgrade | PriusChat
     
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  16. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    StrawBrad, Thanks for the info on springs.

    Here's a couple new pictures.
    I'm trying to finalize my decision on roof shape.
    1:. Leave the back section and tie it to the frame at back of bed.
    2: cut it shorter at a couple optional places.
    3. Paint the extended section black.
    4: remove extended section and install 2-1/2" round tubing into the front section and flow to the back frame rails.
    5: stop the cab directly behind front seats.
    6: stop the cab at the front of bed.

    Today, Thursday - 4-24-2020
    I trimmed the tops of rear doors more so the bed will sit flush with too of door line.
    I removed headliner and also cut out the rear of a Sport Trac cab to install electric up/down rear window.
    I am test fitting directly behind the seats.
    This will require a "extended cab" area behind that which has a sealed but removable too in-order to access traction battery and other electrical.
    I may reconsider.
    I am in at only 38 hours now. (5 days)
    I thinks it's gonna be kinda "cool".

    Pics: IMG_20200424_125032701.jpg IMG_20200424_123757184.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    #16 Gary Kiviniemi, Apr 25, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  17. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    Notice: The Design and Process of this project are subject to copyright protection and the subject of current Design Patent and Process Patent documentation.
    Patent Pending status is forthcoming.

    However, please contact me by FaceBook messenger and let's discuss your interest and your project.
    You may contact me on Prius communication and send your phone number.
    Best Regards,
    Gary Kiviniemi
    Manchester, TN.
     
    #17 Gary Kiviniemi, Apr 28, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
  18. Gary Kiviniemi

    Gary Kiviniemi Junior Member

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    Hi again,
    Work is progressing on the Project Prius Truck and I thought I'd share a few thoughts.
    Caution:
    A project of this magnitude is a significant undertaking.
    It requires considerable experience in design and vehicle knowledge and fabrication.
    Many vehicle projects end up being abandoned or sold for parts after months or years of idleness. Hundreds or even thousands of dollars can be lost on customization projects.
    In addition, (though I've used a hundred Band-Aids so far) serious injury can result when cutting, welding, grinding on automobiles.
    Also, there are considerable structural and safety issues that must be addressed in automobile modifications.
    In many cases complying with federal or state motor vehicle law is required.


    I am 70 and have been involved in automotive work for decades and have the requisite experience and ability required for a major project.
    Attention of fit and relationship of parts and the fabrication of unseen items is considerable in this project.
    These components do not just "fit together" like they were manufactured to.
    Though, that end result appearance is certainly the goal.
    All of the above have been addressed (behind the scenes) before I was able to design and start this build.

    I'll share final pictures soon.
    Also, copyright and design patent protected plans and or information may be available soon.

    Let's: "Have Fun and Be Kind - Lesson 1 of Covid One Nine".

    Best Regards,
    Gary Kiviniemi
    Manchester TN.
     
    #18 Gary Kiviniemi, Apr 28, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't see much negative here
     
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  20. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    I like your courage sir. Over here in Lagos, some people would allowed age to limit their ambitions. I have purposed in my mind never to allowed anything stopped me from whatever project I proposed to do, just because of age. I'm half your age, and just imagine what one can still achieved, if the will is just there.

    Please to well to post pictures here too for our perusal.

    Nice one sir!

    Dxta
     
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